Mathew Tilford wants to respectfully provide his perspective in a response to this author’s well intentioned article on her experience with her disabled boyfriend “I went off and managed to fall in love with a man who happens to be paralyzed.
Early October 2016, nine years after i suffered a Spinal Cord Injury I was invited to work with one of the leading rehabilitation centers. Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilation Center in Downey, CA is evolving the standard of care for modern gait training and demonstrating the benefits of Indego walking device for use in therapy and at home.
Have you ever experienced attending a conference or large meeting where the carpet is thick for what feels like miles on end to a manual chair user? This can actually cause arm injury and feelings of frustration and overwhelming anxiety.
It may sound counterintuitive, but a 2,000-pound animal can help you heal – spiritually, mentally, and physically. Referred to as “equine assisted therapy,” “hippotherapy,” “therapeutic riding,” or just plain “horse therapy,” the modality has been practiced since 1946.
Swimming is so incredible for the body, especially when paralyzed because it takes the weight, the aches, and the pains away as you float. It is great for movement of the spine, energy for the soul, for anxiety, and just generally to have a lot of fun getting out of the chair.
While planning a vacation is an incredibly exciting yet complicated undertaking, traveling on wheels is exponentially more challenging. You must ensure that once you arrive, you’ll not only be able to use the bed, bathroom, and shower, but that you’ll also be able to enjoy your experience.
Coaches aren’t just for athletes, and they’re so much more than the red-faced, vein-popping, screaming stereotypes portrayed in television shows and movies. A life coach can be immensely useful when you need help in defining your future and in bringing that future to fruition.
Nondisabled women are often victimized, but disabled women are statistically more vulnerable to sex offenders. My long and sad history of victimization have taught me to avoid these events in the future, to the point where I can sense impending violence long before others do. We don't need to stop living like I did for so long, just recognize the signs and be wise.
4 Days/3 Nights in a 4 Star Hotel with (2) 4hr Accessible Fishing Charters aboard wheelchair accessible boats. Southwest Florida has some of the best Inshore and Backwater fishing in the state. You will be amazed by the abundance of wildlife and natural beauty.
There is something about Friday that makes the day a bit more exciting to wake up to. It is one of my favorite days of the week besides Sunday Funday. What to wear? My Friday Mood Aesthetic is made of some of my current favorite must-haves for a stylish, fun, exciting day to night Friday vibe.
There is so much I could tell you. Things we used to talk about but now we don’t even talk. The reason we aren’t friends anymore isn't because we lost things in common. It’s because while you walk, I roll. My life isn't carefree like it used to be. It might scare you or you might be deep down selfish. I can’t just get up and go.
I was contemplating making a move to a big city, but found myself feeling overwhelmed and unsafe due to the strangers who kept approaching me. As both a woman and a wheelchair user, I felt particularly vulnerable (“sitting duck’ was a term someone so generously offered) and I knew it was only a matter of time before someone saw an opportunity to use my situation to their advantage,...
Through my experience as an able body woman and now living with a disability, I realized sexiness is losing your wishbone, finding your backbone and going for what you want out life and your relationships. I understand that putting yourself out there be a little scary and takes a little courage.
My son and daughter have developmental delays in speech as well as gross motor and fine motor delays. Due to my background as a school psychologist, I knew there was a 50% chance that my kids would have some kind of learning disability.
I was planning on writing about my struggle with motherhood and health for a long time now. In my opinion, not only will this help me better cope with my problems, but at the same time I would help others going through a similar situation.
My first Beauty tip would be to “be daring, feel delicious and divine” Inspiration is everywhere, don’t be afraid to be bold. Most importantly…Don’t give up on yourself. Find your own beauty, your sense of style, and adapt them to make it your own.I believe that if you look good, feel good, you will do well in pursuing and conquering your dreams!
If you want more information on how you can improve access or help your college, university, or local community tax-funded recreation programs to provide adaptive programs and equipment, you can follow the advice of Bev Vaughn, Cofounder/Executive Director of the American Association of Adapted Sports Programs:
When I was first injured at the fifth cervical vertebrae I was categorized as a quadriplegic because I have paralysis in all four limbs. That paralysis includes my hands, which means I can’t move my hands and fingers, therefore they are always in a closed fist.
She needed one that provided her with the flexibility to be able to install it almost anywhere in the home so chose a Stiltz Home Elevator. It was not only attractive but also practical with a small footprint of less than seven square feet and it did not use hydraulics. Stiltz also do a wheelchair lift.
“Peter, are you sure my butt isn’t too heavy?” I shout down to my teammate as he pushes my backside up a ladder.
My hands are gripping the wrung of a metal ladder as I attempt to ascend a thirty foot telephone pole. Peter, a 5’4” Vietnamese gay man is pushing on my butt to help give me leverage. This is one of the more humbling, embarrassing, liberating and loving...
This lady has style, class, and the determination to make a difference. Not only in the recovery and function for people who have lived through her same spinal cord injury, but Natalie Barnhard provides an immediate and tangible relief for others through her foundation that makes lives more independent, joyful, and safe.
Former physical therapist assistant and massage therapist, Barnhard was injured in 2004 by a 600 lb. exercise weight...
Want To Do Something Different and Learn about an Exciting New City from the Culinary Experts?
hether you take your new relationship, best friends, family or book as an independent explorer, this is something you have to try at least once! Because once you do, you will be addicted to the "culinary tour" way to navigate a new destination/city and realize the value, tastes, and fun it will provide!
FY&I Frozen Yogurt and Ice Cream
El Camino Mexican Soul Food & Tequila Bar Delray Beach
Pack your bags and get ready to mail ‘change of address’ postcards after reading this list of the seven hottest cities for single wheelchair users! We’ve researched cities that are affordable and offer a wide range of cultural and recreational opportunities for all--especially for those searching for the one who makes their heart beat faster!
Have you been wanting to try your hand at something new this summer? Maybe it’s time to learn how to ‘flip kick’ or ‘hang ten’? Thanks to world champion quadriplegic surfer, Jesse Billauer, hundreds of thousands of lives affected by spinal cord injuries are gaining inspiration from the thrills of adaptive skating and surfing.
Billauer’s foundation, Life Rolls On, was founded on September 11th, 2001, and has grown exponentially...
Beach wheelchairs make a trip to the ocean or lakeside more enjoyable for wheelchair users. These specialty wheelchairs are often built for all terrains, and some models even can transition from sand to water with specialized floats. Beach wheelchairs come in manual models, which require someone to push them, or motorized models, which allow you to navigate the beach independently.
Kudos go out to the communities, states, and countries that...
How is this possible? First none of this would be possible without my wife; she has been the rock and foundation in our relationship even through the toughest of times. Times that brought on the darkest of my days and made me question my purpose in life. Second, family that extends beyond the ties of blood; family that lifts you up when you are down, encourages you to push...
A Solution for Sustainable Independence and Community Inclusion
A critical buzz word is making headlines in the disability employment world-- ‘entrepreneurship education’. Many believe that this ‘taking matters into your own hands’approach is the key to securing true, sustainable independence and community inclusion for those with disabilities. Entrepreneurship education seeks to provide people with the knowledge, skills and motivation to achieve entrepreneurial success in a field of their interest. The...
With the movie, “Me Before You” coming out, the topic of assisted suicide seems appropriate. I remember the first time I saw the actual list of Dr. Kevorkian’s patients and their ailments. We assume every patient was terminal, but in fact, two-thirds of the people he helped die had disabilities and were not terminally ill. As I sat there in my wheelchair, I scanned over the reasons and was...
Why don’t they have stricter standards? Ignorance. The federal and state laws are written by able-bodied people who couldn’t be more ignorant of what someone with a true disability needs. The current situation and laws perpetuate the stereotype that people with disabilities are second class citizens. There is a lack of knowledge, and that needs to change. Our medical field and government perpetually victimize people with disabilities. Whether it...
To some people, this may not seem like a big deal. What’s the problem with being allowed to bring one of your best friends with you everywhere? Unfortunately, it’s a huge problem. Every legitimate service animal has been evaluated, and will continue to be evaluated to make sure that it is suitable to be out in public where you may experience large crowds, loud noises, and a huge list...
On record, Bethany said that the DCS is “such a defunct, broken system... a whirlpool creating its own internal problems, and are not servicing the children in a healthy way.” While, as a potential adoptive parent, you are required to go through classes that are inspected at a microscopic level, the children that are in foster homes require only a fraction of this oversight or screening. They are...
There are so many wheely awesome things in the world, where to begin? In our Fourth Column, we will be profiling some of the best things we can find for wheelchair-users: - the products, places, and things that you will not want to miss! So get ready to be healthier, safer, and to add new ideas to your wish list and vision boards!
What an amazing evening! Starting with a Red Hot Red Carpet, with Wayne Newton, Emilio Estefan, Phil Collins, Super Star Athletes, and Socialites, all coming together to lend their support to raise money for a Cure for Paralysis. And boy did they succeed, raising millions including two anonymous gifts, one of $1 million and another of $500,000. Thanks, Guys!
Wayne Newton Poses on RED carpet at Destination Fashion with Deborah...
We need to make more of an effort to improve our lives via the significant human interactions we all need to sustain our mental and physical health. Studies show that social interaction is necessary to prevent depression, as well as the positive physical effects of touch, eye to eye contact and mental stimulation we gain by actually being in the physical presence of others.
I can state from my experience, that if you are being bullied or feel in danger because of someone else, you must seek help. Don't ever be embarrassed or feel ashamed. It is more shameful not to get help when you need it. Do not ever allow yourself to consider self-harm that can lead to taking your life.
We give as much as we get. We may not be able to fix the kitchen sink, but we may design and send the invites, plan the menu, cook the meal, and take care of most of the details. We have way more strengths than weaknesses to bring to a relationship, so don't assume we can't be an equal partner.
I have a darn good idea of what I am supposed to do in this life. While the wheelchair is not who I am, it sure has helped to form my personality, and it's made my perspective something it would never have been otherwise.
We, as a community of people with disabilities, have a great deal power when we unify. If we all worked together to build the success of our community members, this success builds on itself, and the money and power that comes with it strengthens us all.
How can we begin to support this type of community empowerment, which has already been done successfully by groups such as the Gay...
Before the romance, there was a basis in friendship. “We were really good friends for two or three years before we starting dating and spent a lot of time together.” She was in a relationship at the time, and friendship was all there was until a visit home from college when her relationship ended. “One night we went to a Bronco event, that was the night we had our...
Stand up for yourself. You deserve to be heard and to be taken seriously. You deserve to get what you paid for, and you certainly deserve to have your time and your health respected. You may be shy, and assertiveness may not come naturally, but if your gut is telling you that you are being pushed too far, don’t ignore it. Take the steps you need...
The energy is high this morning. Marisa Hamamoto just finished performing with Mary, a 12-year-old with Spinal Bifida, and a student of hers from Infinite Flow – A Wheelchair Dance Company, launched in January this year located in Sherman Oaks, Ca.
Her Motto: Everyone Deserves to Dance! Everyone Can Dance! Dance is Transformational! We All Have a Dancer Inside of Us!
Her cause is close to my heart, as a former...
In the first part of our series, we discussed fertility treatments and surrogacy and learned about the personal story of Katie, an unmarried woman who wants to start a family with her boyfriend, but was finding obstacles due to her marital status, and being a paraplegic. In this part of the series, we will discuss private and international adoption, as well as foster-to-adopt, as options for women with disabilities.
Maysoon Zayid is an incredibly talented comedian, actress, and advocate who lights up the room with her presence. Her sharp wit and humor has led to great successes, including one of the most popular TED talks of 2014. Even as she makes people laugh, she's busy paving the way for disability rights, including working towards a stronger disability presence in mainstream media. Emily Ladau had the honor of interviewing Maysoon on behalf of...
Rachelle Freidman strips down and shows the world that being defined as any number of labels: “paralyzed,” “disabled,” “handicapped,” “crippled,” or “broken” does not mean we no longer feel sexual, desire sex and intimacy or, to be frank, can please our partners in bed.
"When my story hit the media, people were so impressed that my fiancé would stay with me 'like this,'" Chapman said. "Sure, it affected my self-esteem,...
Another confession: I was one of those women who sacrificed her inner power by trying to present a perfect version of her physical self. But, that was prior to my spinal cord injury (SCI).
The SCI has been a huge teacher in my life. What I’m most grateful for, having acquiring this injury, is the ability to fuel my passion of being an ultra-feminist. To revere parts of me that...
Jen's baby Announcement
This uniquely courageous woman has a story to tell, a story in the making, and a future that is something we will all want to bookmark and follow. Not only is she drop dead gorgeous, she is the classic girl next door—sweet, sexy, smart, and quite the package! She has a smile that brightens up the room and she is every sailor’s and soldier’s dream. She is...
For many women who became disabled through accident or illness, or who were born with a physical disability, the unfulfilled lifelong dream of having a child becomes yet one more loss. This should not be the case. This is a challenge that needs to be examined collectively by society, and overcome in order to give these women an equal opportunity to become the great mothers they are fully...
Mary Kay and Amy celebrated their 10 year anniversary together in 2014.
28 years ago, a car accident changed Mary Kay’s life forever. About 18 years after her accident, she was watching a CBS news report and saw a piece on Helping Hands.
“I thought it quite comical that I could get a monkey to help me out, but I really didn’t give it any serious thought at that time...
Yannick Benjamin is a powerhouse in every sense of the word. He is a world class sommelier based in New York City. When he's not sharing his wine expertise, he's busy being an accomplished para-athlete. In fact, while listening to his incredible insights, he was getting in his daily exercise by handcycling. In addition to his career and his athletic success, Yannick is the co-founder of Wheeling Forward, a...
Founded by longtime mainstream fashion designer Stephanie Alves, ABL Denim is the most recent adapted jean manufacturer to hit to the scene. She first started out as a tailor for people with disabilities (inspired by her sister's mobility needs), but is now branching out into making clothing. She had a booth at the LA Abilities Expo this year, but the biggest news is that she won her Kickstarter...
Perhaps the perfect scooter for sightseeing, the Full Size Breeze S4 Afkim scooter from Afikim Electric Scooters (a cool company in Israel) is a seriously beefed-up electric scooter that's perfect for uneven terrain (brick sidewalks - I'm looking at you). The 4 wheel suspension is smooth as silk and it reclines. The most memorable feature of this scooter is it's removable see-thru sun and rain visor sitting along...
Welcome to the first installment of our Wheelie Favorite Things. Each month we'll be profiling the best five things - products, places, pop culture and whatever else we can think of - for wheelchair-users.
Wheel Comfort: A brilliant invention created by Ethan Ruby, a paraplegic from NYC, Wheel Comfort in an inexpensive and easy add-on every wheelchair-user needs. This cushy footrest topper comes with sticky tape, allowing it to be...